How to make a bed

And life goes on here at Ibarrondo Etxea.

But one of the tricky things about this place is making the bed. We have a beautiful bedroom: decent size, great views, well heated, amazing windows (you know that this is important) and wireless internet. But rather than a double bed they’ve put together two single beds. They are side by side with no room between them, and the matresses are so nice and stiff that you really don’t notice that they are two singles rather than a double.

Making the bed is another story.

Because each single bed is 90 cm wide, so the total width of the DSBC (Dual Single-Bed Composite) is 180 cm, more than a normal double bed. And this means that regular blankets and sheets are too narrow for it. I don’t know how, but Bego (the lady who runs the house) has managed to provide lower sheets that fit perfectly. However, blankets and upper sheets do not. You can spread a blanket over the bed and it will cover it all, but it will hang over the edges so little that the whole thing falls apart as soon as either of Isabel or I move a finger in the middle of the night. And I must confess that we tend to move quite a lot.

The first days were terrible: we used to wake up in the dark and try to recover the fallen blanket from the floor, drag it back on the bed and scurry beneath. This inevitably meant that the one in charge of the blanket rescue operation ended up depriving the other one from nighty shelter, to which he/she usually responded with airy sighs and unreproducible grunts.

We decided to take measures. Since we rejected the outrageous idea of putting anything between the single beds (even a single layer of fabric), Isabel started testing alternative ways of making the bed. Yes, she makes the bed. I know this is a hotel sort of place, but she can’t help it. I do the washing up. Sometimes. So the first technique she essayed was to rotate the blankets (and any additional layers of fabric intended to lay on top) by ninety degrees. This may sound silly, but it somehow worked. The blankets tended to stay in place, but now my feet ended up protruding from beneath and sending shivers up along my spine, to which I responded (from Isabel’s reports) with animal groans and incontrollable puffing.

The third stage was a combination of the previous two: use two blankets, one on top of each other, the top one rotated by 90 degrees. This way, Isabel reasoned, we would benefit from the length of one and the width of another one. The theory was neat on paper, but in practice the whole thing showed to be a self-knotting device of amazing effectiveness, and we often ended up with an arm or leg trapped in a tight knot.

The fourth strategy, which we have kept until today, and which seems to work more or less all right, consists of laying two blankets along the bed, one to the right and one to the left, with a genereous overlapping zone in the middle. This way, the lateral overhang is good, the tuck-in area at the foot is acceptable, and the double layer of blanket along the middle of the bed just rests between our two heavenly asleep bodies, creating a sense of balance and peace of great proportions. Isabel keeps experimenting with slight variations to the overlap to overhang ratio (OOR), trying to optimise the relation between the pressure that the fabric exerts on our bodies and the force needed to lift the blanket when one gets up. She’s a perfectionist.

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1 Response to “How to make a bed”


  1. 1 Anamatrix 16 December 2005 at 17:10

    Hello Isabel and Cesar,
    You have prompted me to share my “bed time stories” on the internet!…naughty!!
    It’s funny, we are booked into a hotel here in Switzerland as you already know, and in order to have a bit more of space,as it is our home for the time being, we are in a so called “executive room”, with double beds sticked together…just like you!!
    I too tend to do the beds (as Isabel, it must be a “sister thing” he he), but here they keep it nice and simple, just two separate duvets…so no danger of the blanket slipping down to the floor…but I guess nothing can beat the nice feeling of a “spanish style” made bed, with blankets and sheets, hey?
    A funny anecdote, …we got given these “jelly baby” sweets in the shape of a heart, as a welcoming gift placed on both pillows,…it was a nice touch for the first night in the hotel, … but believe after a few nights…you feel like you don’t want to have jelly sweets ever again…so you take them off the pillow, and place them on the night table, expecting after a while they will get the hint and notice that we are not eating them, and not bother anymore…but they don’t…these very same two packets of jelly hearts have been moved every single day from the pillows to the night tables and back again for two and a half months now! so we have thought of collecting them each night into a box, and giving away to friends…LOL!
    Anyway, we almost feel as much at home in this hotel room as we did in our previous houses in Croydon and Reading in the UK, we have bought a kettle, to make hot drinks, and our fridge is the balcony…at least it does the trick in winter.
    Every morning at 6 o clock we have a buffet breakfast, an I almost cannot remember last time I cooked a meal!!
    I think that I could, as Coco Chanel, get used to this hotel lifestyle forever!!


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